Theatre Fairfield Presents Gender-Bent "Taming of the Shrew," Apr. 20-25
Theatre Fairfield, Fairfield University's resident production company, concludes its 2016-17 season with a unique and modern interpretation of Shakespeare’s famous comedy, The Taming of the Shrew.
Performances of the gender-bending, social-media inspired production will take place at the PepsiCo Theatre at Fairfield University on Thursday, April 20 through Tuesday, April 25. Evening shows at 8 p.m. will be held on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 23. Tickets are $15 general admission, $6 for seniors and University staff and $5 for students. They can be purchased in person at the Quick Center Box Office, by phone at 1-877-ARTS-396, or online at www.quickcenter.com.
When asked what makes this production different from other productions of The Taming of Shrew, Director Tom Schwans said, “If Shakespeare were alive today, he’d be a social media junkie crafting his image for his following. Theatre Fairfield’s The Taming of the Shrew challenges our perception of how we view ourselves and our world. With men as women and women as men, this gender-bent production is a raunchy delight. It's a Shakespearean production provocative enough it will make you put your phone down.”
Through the clever incorporation of social media apps, hashtags and smartphones, Theatre Fairfield thrusts Shakespeare’s classic play into the 21st Century and makes it relatable to modern day audiences. During the production, each character is seen using an iPhone and apps like instagram to snap “selfies,” which are projected for the audience to see on nine-foot scenery pieces that resemble iPads. Not only do these images play an important role in moving the action of the play forward, but they speak to the underlying theme of Shakespeare’s work.
“The play deals with the gap between how we present ourselves to the world—our public faces—and our authentic selves—our real faces,” explains Producer and Scenic Designer Lynne Porter. “So we are using the ‘selfie’ to emphasize the difference between the two. This came from a realization that our students take pictures of themselves all the time, but they have a hard time seeing themselves clearly.”
Theatre Fairfield’s production of The Taming of the Shrew is directed by New York actor and founding member of the Guerrilla Shakespeare Project Tom Schwans. The company is lead by Theatre Fairfield regulars Julie Leavitt, costume designer; Lynne Chase, lighting designer; and Lynne Porter, scenic designer and producer.
The cast features Danielle Agate ’19, Valerie Bien-Aime ’20, Liam Cahill ’18, Maeve Hegley ’19, Shannon Kelley ’19, Jordan Mason ’19, Brendan McNamara ’17, Erin Elizabeth Miller ’18, Kaylee Moran ’18, Michelle Rakowsky ’17, and Emily Ramsey ’20. The production is stage managed by Fallon Sullivan ’20 and Melissa Barry ‘18.
Theatre Fairfield produces four productions every year and serves as a platform for community engagement as well as a positive and professional learning environment.